What Are the Causes of Dry Itchy Scalp?

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There are few ailments as bothersome as a dry and itchy scalp. It is impossible to ignore. You scratch it, and unhelpful friends chime in saying "Stop scratching! It will only get worse!" With one scratch you have destroyed your hair-do and littered your tresses and clothes with tiny flakes of skin.

What causes this perpetual annoyance?

Reaction To Hair Products

If your scalp is chronically dry and itchy, it might be because of the hair products you use. You could have an allergy or just sensitive skin. Experiment with different brands and products. Look for products that don't have sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate.


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You are told to eat all your vegetables for a reason. Poor nutrition can cause problems with your skin, including a dry or itchy scalp. If you usually skip the fruits and veggies your scalp can suffer. Try adding a salad at lunch or steam some vegetables as a side dish for your burger at dinner. You can also find vitamin supplements specifically formulated for the health of your hair and skin.

Hard Water

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Hard water can irritate the scalp, especially if you aren't used to it. Hard water contains unnecessary chemicals, such as chlorine, which can cause itching. If your scalp problems begin soon after you move to a new house or apartment, try buying a shower filter to rid some of the chemicals from your water.


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Surprisingly enough, you can get sunburned on your head too. Not only is it painful, but as the sting starts to fade an itch will set in. It is only temporary, but in the meantime it's best to stay out of the sun.

Air Pollution

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Air pollution doesn't just affect the ozone layer, it also affects your skin. Many people experience itchy scalps because of the pollution in their city. There aren't many short-term solutions, but a long-term solution is learning how to take care of our earth, and teaching others to do the same.


Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Alan Cleaver

Your mind is a powerful thing. What starts as "all in your head" can easily manifest itself on top of your head too. Too much stress can weaken your immune system and hormones, which directly affects your sebaceous glands. This makes you a likely candidate for an itchy and dry scalp.